Sunday in Outer Blogness: Losing my religion edition!
This has been a great week for journeys!! Richard of Zelph wrote us a beautifully, painfully raw and honest essay on how — as exmos — we don’t need to force a happy face, and we’re not required to just move on:
Living in Utah, maintaining LDS relationships, and even participating in the post-Mormon community often makes me feel like I’m living in a graveyard where my old life is interred. As a writer for Zelph, I try to comfort those who have likewise come to lay an old life to rest. But in doing so, I find myself in a state of perpetual mourning.
I have occasionally written about feeling reborn after leaving the church. The part I don’t always mention is that being reborn after your brain is already fully developed can be really really difficult.
Luman Walters drew a parallel with strained relationships around the loss of a beloved pet:
Over the next couple years we would often bring up buno. “remember how we used to do such-and-such with buno”….”Remember when buno…..”. Talking about buno would upset mom. I can think of two instances where she specifically asked that we never talk about him in front of her. I think she may have felt guilty.
And Boyd Petersen learned from his own faith crisis experience some ideas for helping others:
The words “I know the Church is true” became problematical one by one. The first word to cause me trouble was the word “church.” […] Which Church was true? The Church of the past or the present? And which parts of it? The organization itself? Priesthood authority? And which doctrines or practices would I allow into my increasingly complicated definition?
The next word to become problematic for me was the word “I.”
There are some exciting projects out there in the Mo-interest Internet! Tom Doggett is working on a really cool project digitizing the lost Mormon cinema for the Hard-to-Find Mormon Videos YouTube channel! These videos are an amazing way to reconnect with your memories of Mormon culture from your youth and childhood! Thinker of Thoughts is continuing his series on the Nauvoo Expositor with an analysis of the claim that the press was destroyed due to fear of mob violence. Plus, some highlights from the Sunstone Symposium!
In other discussions, Wheatmeister asked which revelations should be canonized. Janan Graham emphasized the importance of diverse stories. Tracy McKay-Lamb followed up on Carol Lynn Pearson’s take on polygamy and the temple. And Sam Brunson of BCC argued against “the proposition that a church having and managing money is de facto immoral and wrong” and the first comment on the post did a good job of explaining that that’s not exactly the problem with the CoJCoL-dS and money:
I certainly give quite a bit of praise to humanitarian efforts (monies and manpower) that the church gives. I even read that the church had given “approximately $1.2 billion on welfare and humanitarian efforts over the past 30 years” (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865657898/LDS-Church-welfare-humanitarian-efforts-average-40-million-per-year-apostle-says.html?pg=all). A big round of applause for this.
Then I look at the ~$2Billion spent on City Creek and even something closer to me where the church just purchased a est $45 Million apartment complex. I can’t say I feel comfortable with that.
I certainly can mark a bit of this as some institutional insecurities due to financial issues in the past, but this is an area that bothers me when I think of it, or when I fill out my tithing slip.
I certainly would like some more openness and desire for feedback from above. I work for a very large tech company and I feel that I have more opportunities from my management for giving feedback than even in my own ward.
And in personal stories, Alexis recounted her encounter with Pat Summit.
Such a pleasure to review all of the past week’s ideas and discussions! Now back to chasing Pokémon!
B. P.’s essay expressing his personal problem with declaring “I know the Church is true,” adds yet another to the many I have read over the years that fall into a certain category. They begin by declaring the church has many problems, which challenge the integrity of the Church truth claims, as well as their personal belief and faith. That occupies a considerable portion of the piece. They then move into the many strengths of the Church, and despite its many problems they conclude by saying how wonderful the Church is, after all, and that they know it is true.
I guess when the parts in the box don’t match the picture on the front of the box, one way to deal with it is to decide that the parts you have, the contents of the box, are really worthwhile, which somehow keeps the feeling of deception at bay.
That’s a great analogy! I agree, so many faith transition stories sound like deciding that the parts in the box are worthwhile, even if they don’t match the contents that were supposed to be in there.